Due to New York State directives to limit public gatherings to contain the spread of the Coronavirus, Catholic Health will be providing at-home learning and online childbirth education classes for the foreseeable future. Expectant parents will receive a textbook with all the materials covered during the in-person classes. The textbook includes online resources and videos to prepare expectant parents for labor and delivery. The online classes will be followed by scheduled call-in opportunities to speak live with a childbirth educator. During this unprecedented situation, Catholic Health will continue to ensure the needs of expectant parents are meet throughout their childbirth experience. For more information, call Catholic Health’s HealthConnection at (716) 447-6205 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pregnancy, Delivery, and Beyond – Prenatal Education for Families
Getting ready for a new baby is a fun and exciting time. Catholic Health is happy to provide classes to make this time as easy as possible for you, your family, and your baby.
Register for classes at around 20 weeks (4-5 months). These classes prepare you for the discomforts of late pregnancy, as well as delivery.
To learn more about flu related visitor restrictions click here.
Health Insurance Coverage
When registering for class, this form will also be used to pre-admit you to the hospital. Pre-admitting will decrease your paperwork when you arrive in labor!
Catholic Health will bill your insurance company for the class(es) you attend. If your insurance does not cover all of the cost, you may receive a bill for the amount not covered. If costs are an issue, please call (716) 601-3600 for billing options and assistance.
If you wish to self-pay, or if you do not want Catholic Health to bill your insurance for any reason, please check the box in the Insurance Information section of the attached registration form.
This 2 hour webinar gives you a look into how your body is changing, how the baby grows, and how to take care of both of you through this amazing time. We will look at diet, exercise, and tips to make pregnancy as comfortable and smooth as possible. Taught by one of our nurses, this is a good time to ask questions!
Prepared Cesarean Delivery
For parents who know they will be scheduled for a Cesarean Delivery, this class covers what to expect. There is a more detailed look at what to expect with a Cesarean Birth and even more detail about recovery. You will get a chance to ask any questions you might have and will have some tools to make birth and the first weeks at home easier!
Currently this class is being offered in live webinar format – it generally lasts 2 hours.
Moms in Motion
This Moms in Motion class is an add on class with additional comfort measures. Taught by an experienced doula or nurse educator, this class uses upright positions and techniques that are used worldwide to reduce the discomfort of labor and the length of labor. Modern techniques from such organizations as Spinning Babies ® and Dancing For Birth™ are also discussed.
This is an ACTIVITY based class. Please dress comfortably, bring your support person, and be ready (maybe with a yoga mat and pillow) to practice most of the techniques. This is currently being offered as a live Webinar and lasts about 1.5 hours.
This class provides a fun and interactive mom and baby exercise experience complete with educational components for additional health and fitness knowledge to take home.
Healing After Birth
With all the talk about the new baby, you are important too! Make sure you are comfortable with what you need to do to heal after the birth of your baby. This class will look at tips and tricks to ease your recovery and regain your strength after childbirth.
NICU Tour with Q&A for Higher Risk Moms and Babies
If you have been told you are at a higher risk for early delivery or if you have serious medical concerns during your pregnancy, this class looks at common complications or risk factors in pregnancy. We discuss ways to reduce risks and look at additional medical care that may be recommended.
Currently this class is offered by live Webinar only and it takes about 2 hours. We will “Tour” Catholic Health NICUs through pictures.
This class is for Mom’s delivery partner since right now you are her sole family support in the hospital for comfort in labor. Additionally, this class gives you the chance to ask questions and get good information about what to watch for physically, emotionally, and medically before and after the birth of the baby.
Total class time: 2 hours.
Introduce your older child or children to being a big brother or sister. Parents accompany children on a
guided tour of the nursery, view Mom’s room and see new babies through the nursery window. Children explore, with the help of a doll, how newborns are held, fed, diapered, and bathed.
Total class time: 1.5 hours.
It is amazing how much changes! Grandparents are experts in so many areas of child raising, but if you would like a refresher or just a look at what recommendations have changed, please join us. This class covers new infant care, (car seat and sleep safety), supportive care for the new parents, and we will provide you with a copy of our BabyTalk book which covers early infancy care in even more detail.
Currently this class is only offered in live Webinar format and it lasts about 2 hours.
Car Seat Safety
Proper car seat use saves lives! Many parents are shocked to find out that car seats are usually used incorrectly (up to 93% of car seats used incorrectly at hospital discharge in the most recent American Academy of Pediatrics study.) Right now this class is being offered primarily as an online Webinar with a Child Passenger Safety Technician or instructor. Follow ups are offered as a virtual car seat check with an instructor as a 1:1 FaceTime, Video Call, or Webinar in order to go over personal features of your vehicle and your car seat and insure a safe install. For our car seat grant program, 1:1 in person appointments will be scheduled.
The Class Webinar is about an hour. If you would like a virtual car seat check, that takes an additional half hour to an hour – which is scheduled separately so you can be at your car at the time of the appointment.
As soon as it is safely possible to do so, we will resume in person car seat checks.
Prepared Childbirth - Basics
Childbirth classes are perfect for any expectant parent who wants to know what will happen in labor and delivery and beyond. We will provide you with a book that has online tools and apps to assist in self-learning. The 2 hour Webinar will then give a summary of the most important information and give you time to ask questions, seek clarification, and get feedback.
This class is only offered via live Webinar.
These classes are geared towards parents who desire additional Lamaze focus for natural childbirth or a more comprehensive class than the Childbirth Basics class. These classes have four sessions, meeting once a week. This class will include many comfort measures, the Lamaze 6 Healthy Birth Practices, and extra time for practice. It will also cover common medical interventions and ways to use natural childbirth techniques even when medical assistance is needed.
Currently this class is being offered via live Webinar – the class is scheduled once a week for 2 – 2.5 hours a session.
The arrival of multiples is amazing! This class is intended to add to the Prepared Childbirth Class or the Prepared Cesarean Delivery class for parents expecting more than one new arrival. This class will give you more information about what is happening both during your pregnancy the differences at time of birth and in the early days!
Currently this class is offered via live Webinar and lasts 2 hours.
Preparing to Breastfeed
A Certified Lactation Counselor (CLC) or International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) will share tips to make breastfeeding easier! This class is geared towards avoiding common problems and getting breastfeeding off to a good start. For more information on pumping and feeding a baby expressed milk – please also look into the Breastfeeding and Bottles class! You will receive a book with this class that will also give you online tools and apps for further review. Questions are always welcome and helps us customize each class to your needs.
This class is currently being offered as a 2 hour live webinar. It helps to have a doll or stuffed animal with you as we review common holds. We do suggest that partners or a support person attend with you if possible!
Breastfeeding and Bottles
A Certified Lactation Counselor (CLC) or International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) will look at expressing (pumping) milk and safe bottle feeding practices with Mama’s milk. We will look at the laws protecting women in the workplace (or school) who need to take time to express milk for their children. Safe pumping practices and cleaning techniques for bottles and pumps will be discussed. We will also look at storage of milk and then techniques for feeding a breastfed baby with a bottle (sometimes they get picky!) This class is a great follow up to the Preparing to Breastfeed class.
This class is currently being offered as a 1.5-2 hour live webinar. It helps to have a doll or stuffed animal with you as we review common holds. We do suggest that partners or a support person attend with you if possible! This class might be helpful for grandparents or family members caring for a primarily breastfed baby.
This class gives you a bit of what to expect in the first six months with your baby! We discuss care of your newborn, health concerns to watch for, and challenges all new parents face. You will receive a book with online access to multiple tools and apps for future reference. Please bring lots of questions! This class is not limited to new parents, it also makes a great refresher course for Grandparents and other family members who may be caring for your precious new one.
Currently this class is offered via live Webinar and runs 2 hours.
Infant and Child CPR
This class covers what to do in emergencies. Choking, CPR, use of an AED, and a first aid summary are included. This knowledge can save your child’s life in an emergency! This class is not limited to new parents, it also makes a great safety course for Grandparents and other family members who may be caring for your precious new one.
Currently this class is offered via live webinar and takes about 2 hours. We highly recommend you have a doll or stuffed animal to practice on during the class! As soon as we can safely bring back in person classes, this class will be a priority as it is difficult to feel confident without the practice time on the mannequins.
Strong Family Foundations
These classes are intended to provide first-time parents the chance to connect with other expecting parents, work together as a parenting team, and support your child’s growth and development.
Tours are complimentary for all expectant parents. Spending an hour with an educator to have all your questions answered is helpful as you prepare for birth.
Currently our tours are being offered by live webinar with a childbirth instructor. We will use pictures to see the hospital and will give tips on what to bring, hospital specifics, etc. Please bring your questions!!!
As soon as it is safely possible to do so, we will resume in person tours as well.
Instruction on diabetes self-care and nutrition is available. Call HealthConnection at (716) 447-6205 to learn more or schedule an appointment.
Natural Family Planning
The Catholic FertilityCare™ Center of WNY provides instruction in the Creighton Model FertilityCare™ System (CrMS) of Natural Family Planning. When using this system, a woman observes changes in her cervical mucus and menstrual patterns to determine when she is fertile and infertile.
Meet the Instructors
Beth C. CD (DONA)
Beth C. CD(DONA) has been a birth professional for over fifteen years and maintains doula certifications through DONA International, HypnobabiesⓇ & Madriella. She is a certified Dancing For Birth™ Instructor and co-director of WNY Doulas, a local doula collaborative. Beth is an amazing instructor and teaches Dancing For Birth classes, Prepared Childbirth Activity, BabyTalk, and Car Seat Safety. Beth has been married 34 years and has five grown children. Some of her hobbies include gardening, cooking and traveling.
Christina L., MSN, RN, IBCLC, LCCE, CPS-I, C-EFM, DFB
Christina is a Registered Nurse with past experience in Home Health, ICU, NICU, Labor and Delivery, Mother/Baby, and School Nursing. Christina has her Master’s degree in Nursing Education, is an IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant), a Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator, a Dancing for Birth Instructor, an American Red Cross CPR instructor, a Child Passenger Safety Instructor (car seat tech), and specializes in providing information!
She oversees the educational programs for our expectant parents but really prefers teaching to overseeing, so is usually found teaching a class at Sisters of Charity Hospital, Mercy Hospital of Buffalo, or Mt.St.Mary’s Hospital. Christina teaches a bit of everything at all locations but loves the interactive classes the most. Learning safety techniques such as First Aid for Choking is so important for any family, she emphasizes that these classes are not JUST for new parents – anyone who cares for children is welcome to come ensure they know how to safely use a car seat, learn CPR, or attend a BabyTalk or Grandparent class.
Christina has a passion for ensuring women are confident in their ability to birth their babies and wants to make sure women have all the tools they need to fuel that confidence. After five births of her own, she knows that birth can be a joyful, vibrant experience and wishes each expectant couple the best in their journey! Please join her for Dancing For Birth(TM) at Mercy or Sisters or see her at our regular Car Seat Check Saturdays.
Rev. David L., CPSI
Rev. David Lewis is a regular volunteer with the WomenCare Prenatal Education program. As an experienced Child Passenger Safety Technician, he helps ensure parents know how to safely use their child’s car seat for the best protection of a newborn or older child. David can be found on Seat Check Saturdays at Mt.St.Mary’s Hospital and then at the Catholic Health Regional Training Center helping parents learn to install and use their seats safely. He can also be found at other events around the community or being superman while caring for his seven children!
Diane M., BSN, RN, CPST, C-EFM , DFB
Diane has taught Lamaze childbirth classes for many years while working in Labor and Delivery. She has seen the results of being fully prepared for the experience of childbirth and encourages expectant families to prepare both mentally and physically for the birth of their baby. Diane teaches the Lamaze focus class at Sisters of Charity Hospital as well as being one of the facilitators at the Activity Childbirth classes. Diane also gives amazing tours of Sisters Hospital where a family can explore the rooms, learn about regular care at Sisters, and become familiar with resources available.
Donna L., BSN, RN, CPST, C-EFM, DFB
Donna is the primary weekend prenatal educator at Sisters of Charity Hospital. She has a varied background in nursing with most recent experience in Labor and Delivery and Mother/Baby nursing. Donna has a background of multiple types of delivery with her own beautiful (but grown up!) children and is able to answer questions and provide reassurance to decrease birth anxiety. She teaches every type of class available with the prenatal education program at Catholic Health!
Gina A. P., IBCLC, RLC
Gina is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), RLC. Gina joined the Maternity team at Mt. St. Mary’s after years working as a private Lactation Specialist. She also worked as an IBCLC for the Women’s Infants and Children’s (WIC) program. Gina became a La Leche League Leader in 1991, volunteering her skills for 22 years, holding monthly meetings, and acting as District Advisor for New York West. She has been passionately advocating on the critical importance of better birth practices, and superiority of human milk in Niagara County since 1993.
She leads the Niagara Frontier Breastfeeding Moms Meetings monthly. Gina teaches the Breastfeeding 101 class at Catholic Health’s Mt. St. Mary’s Campus. She meets with parents privately helping to solve more complex breastfeeding challenges. Gina can be found most days rounding on the Maternity Unit, attending community meetings such as Healthy Babies/Healthy Mothers or receiving donations at MSM Milk Depot.
Gina is the wife to her loving husband of 30 years, the proud mother of three daughters, and Nana to Vivianna and Reilly.
Jeanette K., BSN, RN, C-EFM
Jeanette has experience both with Labor and Delivery and Mother Baby nursing. She still actively works with Moms and Babies and loves to provide information both for new parents and also for older siblings and grandparents. She teaches many of the evening classes at Mercy Hospital of Buffalo as well as some of the weekend offerings.
Keith N., CPST
A longtime volunteer with our Car Seat Program, Keith was a leader in the car seat safety field many years ago and continues to help ensure children are safe in vehicles. Keith assists in the downtown Buffalo Seat Check Saturday classes. Keith is a physical fitness enthusiast and jogs regularly throughout the city. He is a firm believer in the ability of laughter to help heal the body and soul!
Maureen M., RN,BSN
Maureen is a Patient Educator with Catholic Health WomenCare and has taught CPR for over 30 years. Maureen graduated from Sisters of Charity School of Nursing. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Nursing and a Certificate in Middle Management at the State University of New York at Buffalo.
After working as a Registered Nurse on medical-surgical units at Sisters of Charity Hospital, Maureen worked in the Special Care Nursery for several years before transitioning into education.
Maureen most recently has been involved in community education, educating the public and promoting awareness about heart disease, stroke, different cancers, osteoporosis, the opioid crisis and narcan training and other health issues. She teaches anywhere through Catholic Health and the community.
Maureen is the Mother of five children and Grandmother to 10.
Racquel K., DPT, DFB
Racquel is a physical therapist specializing in Women’s Health and Obstetrics Physical Therapy at Mount St. Mary’s Center for Sports Medicine and Physical Rehabilitation. Racquel graduated from the University at Buffalo where she spent her final residency in pelvic floor rehabilitation. She has spent the last year at Mount St. Mary’s reinstating the Pelvic Floor Rehabilitation program.
Racquel’s passion is in women’s health with a particular interest in seeing women through their pregnancy with as little discomfort as possible. “Movement and education can make such a difference in a woman’s pregnancy. When a mom has the understanding of what is happening in her body and the tools to relieve some of the aches and pains, it is just so empowering.”
Racquel also has a background in fitness, having taught group fitness classes over the years such as Pilates and cardio kickboxing. “While we won’t be doing any kickboxing in this class, it will have the same fun upbeat atmosphere that is so infectious in a group setting.” Tying in to her other experiences, Racquel says she loves to dance. “While I have little formal training in dance, when music comes on I just want to move. I feel a lot of women relate to each other in this way which is what I love about this class. It’s low key, no intricate long dance moves. It’s just a group of women coming together to move, have fun, and learn about their bodies and their babies.”
Racquel is also the sole pelvic floor physical therapist in Niagara County and, together with other pelvic floor PTs within Catholic Health, is working to create a pelvic floor rehabilitation team that offers help to women and men struggling with incontinence, pelvic pain, prolapse, and other pelvic floor dysfunctions.
Sara S., BSN, RN, CPST
Sara has a background in both Labor and Delivery and Mother/Baby nursing. She has several young children of her own and has fought with putting four car seats in the car at once so knows the challenges even experienced parents face with car seat safety! Sara teaches primarily at our Car Seat Safety classes although also has taught many of our Prepared Childbirth classes at Mercy Hospital.
Shannon J. CD (DONA)
Shannon J. CD (DONA) teaches our Activity Childbirth Classes, BabyTalk Classes, Tours, and can be seen at Sisters, Mercy, or even Mt.St.Mary’s. She also teaches classes in the community to provide convenient times and locations for our expectant parents. Shannon has four years of experience with childbirth education, including Lamaze Style classes and Evidence Based Birth classes.
Being a mother of 6, Shannon has learned how valuable it is to have quality education and support during pregnancy and birth. While working with expectant mothers, Shannon noticed many new parents would benefit from additional information to reduce fears and improve their birth experience.
Shannon is also a Certified Birth Doula and Postpartum Doula. Shannon has been a Birth Doula in for 5 years. Shannon became a Doula after supporting and guiding friends through their labors and births of their children. She is also still serving the community as an active doula and founder of Calming Nature Doula Center.
Tammy K., BSN, RN, IBCLC
Tammy is a Registered Nurse with past experience in Pediatrics, Labor and Delivery, Mother/Baby, Home Health and School Nursing. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree, is an IBCLC (Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultant) and specializes in breastfeeding education. She is a motivated advocator of breastfeeding and gladly shares her knowledge and passion with new and expectant mothers. Her interest in lactation came with the birth of her 3 children and now has over 20 years’ experience helping mothers and infants. Tammy teaches regularly at Mercy Hospital of Buffalo.